Thursday, January 11, 2018

Snowy day

After clearing snow, it was a spicy-hot- chocolate- (with cinnamon, chicory, nutmeg, ginger, and cardamom) and-popcorn afternoon, and it's a kabocha-and-sweet-potato-hash kind of night.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Algerian chicken stew

The fragrance of Algerian chicken stew--oh my! Like inhaling heaven.

This recipe is from Extending the Table: A World Community Cookbook, and involves garlic, onions, cumin, basil, bay leaves, and other wonderful items. I change it and use whatever veggies I have on hand. It says to serve over couscous, but I made quinoa in the rice cooker to go with it instead.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

2 days; 2 smooothies

Still plowing ahead with a lunchtime smoothie almost every day! It's a wonderful way to get loads of raw greens in one go. Today's was avocado, banana, navel orange, fresh ginger, mint leaves, and komatsuna greens (you can sub in raw greens of your choosing).

Yesterday I threw in some frozen berries, a navel orange, a banana, fresh ginger, cabbage, and lemon juice.

Here's how I layer the smoothies in the blender: first goes in soft, squishy foods like bananas and avocados, then the greens, and if I have anything hard or heavy, like a chopped carrot or frozen fruit, I put that on the top to push everything else down toward the blade. I also add water to all my smoothies for easier blending. Chia seeds are good too!

Friday, October 20, 2017

easy hummus

I can't just pop into a grocery store in Japan and buy hummus because they just don't sell it here. I can, however, throw a couple cans of cooked chickpeas and a few other staples in the blender and whirr away my Middle Eastern food cravings.
My blender cookbook has an easy recipe, and I usually double it.

You'll need:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (in Japanese, this sesame paste is called neri goma and is sold in regular grocery stores)
  • 1 clove garlic, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I can't get kosher salt here, so I use sea salt)
  • one 15-ounce (425-gram) can of chickpeas (save the liquid!)
  • 1/4 cup chickpea liquid
Do this:

Put it all in the blender and whizz it up. I serve it with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

slow-cooker salsa chicken meal

I don't know where I found this tip, but a great way to keep herbs fresh is to put them in a glass jar of water and cover with a plastic bag in the fridge. Works great! This jar-full happens to be cilantro (coriander), which I love on curries or Mexican food.

A meal we've come to love recently is cobbled together from various recipes. I serve the salsa chicken over rice.

 You'll need:

  • boneless chicken thighs, skin removed
  • salsa, medium heat
  • one onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • a splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
Do this:

Add all of the above ingredients to a slow cooker, and set to cook on low heat for about 8 hours. When it's done, shred with two forks.

Here are the side dishes I serve with it: lettuce, cilantro leaves, black olives, corn chips, sliced green onions, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes or more salsa, and sauteed garlicky corn (saute chopped purple onion in a frying pan in a neutral-flavored oil, then add thawed corn and minced garlic, and finally add some salt and pepper).

curried salmon croquettes

Curried salmon croquettes ready to fry up when we get home from calligraphy class. Ingredients: canned salmon, beaten eggs, sifted coconut flour, onion, garlic, parsley, turmeric, curry powder, salt and pepper, mayo, mustard, and rolled in golden flaxseed meal. Yummy served with lemon wedges, and for a side dish we have rice cooked in the rice cooker with chopped sweet potatoes. Lovely with coleslaw as well.

All done:

Monday, September 4, 2017

persian eggplant and tomato beef dish (gheimeh baademjaan)

Well, this was just absolutely delicious.

I had eggplants in the house that needed to be used up, so I just searched for a Middle Eastern dish with eggplant and ground beef. Voila!

Here's the recipe I used, and instead of searing the eggplant and doing all the fiddly bits, I just did it all in one pan in one go. It worked, and everybody raved about it. (I served it over quinoa, which I make in the rice cooker. So easy: you just double the amount of water, so if you're making two cups of quinoa, add four cups of water.)

You'll need:

  • 1 large eggplant (or a number of the small Japanese variety), chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion
  • lots of minced garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2/3 cup tomato paste (I used less than this)

Do this:

Saute everything except the tomatoes, then add them in, stir till they are soft, and serve over quinoa.

Muy muy delicioso! I'm going to be making this every couple weeks for sure.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

gluten-free dairy-free chocolate-chicory-walnut mug muffins

Here's a new Mamatouille riff on a mug muffin recipe we use quite a lot. The chicory and dark cocoa powder added wonderful depths of flavor.

You'll need (per muffin):

  • a greased mug
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon chicory powder
  • chopped walnut
Do this:

Beat everything except the walnuts in a mug with a whisk. When everything is pretty happy and blended, throw in some chopped walnuts. Microwave for 1.5 minutes (or bake in the oven if that's your preference and you have the time).


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

ginger-citrus-carrot-cabbage smoothie (with a few extras)

I've been making green (well, sometimes purple or orange) smoothies since 2009 when I first started reading about the fantastic properties of raw veggies. And I have to admit, this is probably one of my favorites so far.

For four servings, blend 1 apple with peel, 1 large avocado, 1 carrot, 1/4 head cabbage, a knob of freshly-grated ginger, lemon juice, and water.

It's smooth and tangy with all those great flavors.

Friday, July 28, 2017

coconut-kale smoothie

Today's lunchtime accompaniment was coconutty and smooth.

Just blend banana, avocado, navel orange, coconut cream, kale, lemon juice, water, and chia seeds.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

chicory root "coffee"

OK, folks, the verdict is in: I love chicory "coffee." (I hope the import store continues to carry it.) Here's what I did: heat a cup of unsweetened soy milk, add about 8 grams (1.5 tablespoons) instant chicory powder and quite a few shakes of cinnamon. Whisk and drink up. Mmmmagic in a mug.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

sweet & spicy tomato chutney

Recipe development with leftovers floats my boat. Using up yummy bits from the fridge and reworking them into dinner is so fun.

Tonight: scrambled eggs with leftover sausages, roasted zucchini and yellow squash, and black beans, with chopped green onion on top.

Served with Jamie Oliver's sweet and spicy tomato chutney--it really jazzed it up.

For the chutney (changed a smidgeon from the original recipe), you'll need:
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes of various colors, quartered
  • 45 ml (3 tablespoons) red wine vinegar
  • 45 ml (3 tablespoons) brown sugar
  • salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
Do this:

Just simmer it up till it's thickened and gooey. 

Serve with whatever you like. Sweet! And spicy. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

yael and sharon's israeli eggplant

(Our dinner tonight: stuffed peppers, a salad with artichoke hearts, tomatoes, onion, black olives, cucumbers, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic, and our friends' eggplant recipe.)

Back in May, we had a fun, friendly, and fantastic Israeli family stay with us for a few days. On their last night, Yael and Sharon made the most delicious meal for us, including a special eggplant dish.

And here it is for you.

You'll need:

  • eggplant 
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh lemon juice
  • fresh minced garlic
Do this:

Slice the eggplant and fry in olive oil till softened and browned. It took me two times in the pan to fit them all in because they need to be in a single layer. Toss in a bowl with sea salt, fresh lemon juice, and fresh minced garlic. 

And if you eat it, you'll want to thank our Israeli friends. I'll pass on your gratitude to them. 

Back in May when our friends were staying with us. We sure do miss them! 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Italian-style gluten-free chicken-mcmushroomic mixup pasta

(Caveat: I had a little help with the title.)

The Mamatouille family loves pasta, though the Mamatouille kiddiewinks lately say they're loving quinoa more. Whatever floats your plate!

I made this up for a dinner recently and then made it again about a week later when we had friends over for lunch.

You'll need:

  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • shiitake mushrooms, chopped
  • sliced button mushrooms
  • a big handful of fresh spinach, washed and chopped
  • chopped tomatoes
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • fresh rosemary from the front porch
  • dried oregano
  • dried Italian mixed herbs
  • white wine or sake
  • chopped artichoke hearts
  • goats cheese and red pepper flakes for topping
  • gluten-free pasta
Do this:

Cook that pasta.

In a frying pan, saute the chicken, onions, and garlic in olive oil, then throw in the mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, spices, and white wine or sake (enough to simmer in, but not enough to make it soupy). 

Pour the chicken-veggie mixture into the pot of drained pasta, and mix it well. Plate it up with goat cheese and red pepper flakes, if desired. The Mamatouille Beans did not desire the red pepper flakes.

gluten-free wasabi salmon burgers

These are yummy little guys--but next time, I'm going to add even more wasabi!

You'll need:

  • 3 cans salmon (180 g or 6 ounces each)
  • 1/4 cup okara (soy pulp) or whatever binding agent/breadcrumbs you like
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 tablespoon wasabi paste
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • flaxseed meal for coating
  • grapeseed oil for frying
Do this:

Break the salmon up (I also crush the bones), add everything except for the flaxseed meal and grapeseed oil, and mash it together with your fingers. Form into patties, coat with the flaxseed meal, and fry in the oil.

This fed four people for dinner, along with a little bit of corn on the cob, rice cooked with sweet potato chunks, and some sliced tomato and beansprouts.

But next time, I want that burning in my nose from the wasabi. This just didn't do it. More wasabi, please!